New Rob Ford crack-smoking video emerges, Ford takes "break" from re-election campaign


I’m glad he is seeking rehab. This is the first time he has publicly shown any actual self-awareness throughout his drug and alcohol addiction. But let’s be honest here, rehab is a short term program that often tosses people back into the same environment that started the addiction in the first place. What he needs is to have someone responsible take a conservatorship and remove him from his lifestyle for years while maintaining intensive outpatient treatment. This isn’t going to happen, so he will be just as fucked up once he is released, except he might have a lot less respect for drug treatment programs helping him get clean.


There are different kinds of rehab. There’s the kind you go to when you decide you need to clean up, and there’s the kind you go to when you’re a public figure who’s been caught and need to pretend you’re cleaning you’re act up.* The former requires actual self-awareness; the latter only requires political awareness.

(I fortunately haven’t had to deal with either of those, though I’m now dealing with the kind of rehab that’s “parent or other elderly relative had surgery or broke a hip or had a stroke”.)


He’s not homeless!


He needs time away from the stresses of the world to get himself better. It appears he needed that before he became a mayor as well.


I love this observation.
It really does put the lie to the “used X drug once = automatic loser”
Make no mistake, all the rest of his behavior (as reported here on BB at least) sounds atrocious and nigh-indefensible at the human level. But the whole “Drugs are bad and make you a useless individual MM-kay?” seems to actually, illogically, disproved by this jerk getting elected and supported.

I am no druggie apologist (and do nothing but a lot of alcohol and caffine, and occasional nicotine), but I do follow arguments to their logical conclusion. If habitual use of drug X does not prevent candidate Y of reaching high public office … maybe there is more to be considered here. Maybe any-crack==crackhead is only as true as any-alcohol==non-functioning-alcoholic.
Maybe there are actually shades of grey.

Again - not playing apologetics but just looking at what the evidence (sample of one) actually shows.


I do agree with those who are arguing that it’s unfortunate how we stigmatize addicts and that much of the reaction to Ford is “OMG Crack!!!”. I would like to point out a couple of things. First, Ford’s ability to get elected isn’t a reflection of a job well done. That’s like saying I’m good at my job because I managed to get hired. Ford has in fact been impeached once and stripped of all but his statutory powers by City Council.

Second, whether or not drug use should be decriminalized, the man is public servant whose code of ethics demands a higher standard of behaviour and he not only couldn’t care less, but publicly admitted that he hadn’t even read the ethical guidelines, despite having been a city counsellor for 14 years.

That’s the real problem with Rob Ford. His ability to get elected notwithstanding, he actually does not do his job well, and certainly not better than other counsellors who haven’t been impeached.

I wish people would focus on that, rather than their visceral reaction to stereotypes.


When I was younger I was in close contact with a group of people who’d been regular heroin users for 10-15 years (they were classified by the state as “addicts” and some had done jail time) but were also successfully holding down jobs. And fulfilling their job duties responsibly. Most people who met these so-called addicts would not have guessed they were regular heroin users. In fact, if suspicions were ever raised (and they rarely were), it was usually about their behaviour when they were straight! I.e., most people assumed that when these people were off their faces they were in fact normal. Go figure…

Socialising and living in close quarters with these guys was an eye opener for me. They tended to function “normally” when they were using (which was pretty much all the time). They got antsy if they ran out, but if they had a supply they were fine. Several of them played sport in a fairly large town at a high level and were respected by the community. Hardly anyone knew they used.

There are clearly many users and addicts who don’t function at these levels. But knowing this group well certainly changed my way of thinking about addiction and behaviour. I lost touch with them many years ago and I don’t know if they’ve been able to live fairly normal lives during that time. But I hope they have.


The point is not Ford’s personal moral failing as a crack addict; It’s the failure of the prevailing political system that keeps him in a position of power and responsibility.

Ford’s continuing political position is an example and a result of the fundamental flaw in democracy itself: The number of selfish I-Don’t-Want-To-Pay-Taxes voters who are grateful for Ford’s obedience on that issue and/or are so entertained by Ford’'s antics that they don’t care what a bad mayor he is for their fellow citizens, outnumber the voters who ARE adversely affected by Ford’s antics.

The Majority Rules, and right now the majority still wants this asshole in office. And as long as he keeps their taxes down, they wouldn’t care if Ford was sawing off little girl’s heads - So what does THAT say about the state of human decency, let alone democracy, in Toronto ? “The problem with democracy is that the people get the government that they deserve”, indeed…


I think this is a human being doing damage control during a political campaign. I realize he probably has addiction issues, but I don’t think he is “finally telling the truth” to us because I seriously doubt he is telling the truth to himself.

Here “function” is defined as being rich enough that it really doesn’t matter what he does. Coming into work only a few hours a day, driving impaired all the time, repeatedly being caught on tape using illegal drugs while you trying to be taken seriously in public office (catch me smoking crack on tape once, shame on you…) - he’s not really functional.

The guy who filmed the video may be a real dick, but nothing about Rob Ford is really very high functioning. His staff estimated he was at work two or three hours a day. The difference between him and a low functioning crack head is how much money they have, not how well they are keeping things together. Just a few weeks ago he voted against a motion to congratulate our olympic and paralympic atheletes. Whether that was because he didn’t know what button he was pressing, couldn’t read the motion (and couldn’t think through the fact that everyone else was probably voting for it rather than against it), or just wasn’t paying attention, it’s all part of a pattern of behaviour, of him specifically not doing his job. In Ontario, if you get elected mayor and then do literally nothing but show up to council once every three months for ten minutes, you get to keep that job. Still being mayor isn’t evidence of anything.


Ben Elton’s novel High Society makes the point that doing drugs isn’t a problem in today’s society, doing drugs while poor is. If you’re rich, it’s pretty easy to do quite a lot of drugs (including alcohol) for quite a long time with no real damage to the society at large. If you’re poor, it quickly becomes a social ill for all sorts of reasons including but not limited to begging or stealing to support the habit.

The book made the point that any drug laws were therefore inherently classist and unfair in a democratic society, and should therefore be entirely repealed.

Nothing earth shattering if you’re paying attention I suppose, but I hadn’t really given it too much thought before I read that book, so it stuck with me.


Sad thing is, you’re probably right. The folks that voted for him and support him have doubled down in their support. They think the coverage of his “issues” is “unfair”… and they usually counter with “everyone does drugs”…

I can only hope this shakes their support, we only need to lessen his base by a wee little bit!


And so far neither has exploded!


The difference between addicts with money and addicts without money is startling.


A. Getting elected is not the job to do after being elected. A2. Populism in Politics, worth a thought, worth a wonder whether it equates to merit if you had not figured it out yet.

B. Read up on the good Mayor, he’s a high-functioning crack-head/criminal/gangster, not Mayor, capable of such mostly due to deep pockets and a deep sense of entitlement. You make your statement as though this event occurred in a vacuum. It hasn’t.

CDE. High Public Office comes with chains. Seek to shrug them off & they grow only tighter & that is how they serve their purpose. At a glance your libertarian view of how he is being mis-handled in this event is doing a disservice to itself. PollyAnnaLike.


I’m not so much worried about the drug use as the obtaining of drugs. To do crack means that he is in regular contact with criminals. When politicians are friends with criminals that is a big problem. It means that there is legitimate fear of law-enforcement playing favourites. There is legitimate fear of greater (possibly violent) crimes happening and being ignored.
In a “perfect world” where drugs were legal and regulated, then this wouldn’t be as big an issue. Consider that when it became clear he is an alcoholic there was not nearly as much controversy. The fact that what he is doing it illegal is the problem.


It’s six figures. (It’s six figures in the article linked to and it has been reported as six figures since the news first broke. I have no idea where Cory got seven from.)

Not that it really changes the nature of why someone would pay that much.


Yeah, six figures puts in the realm of “someone might have paid that amount back when this behavior was mere rumors” but now the video seems more than a bit superfluous.


They could just put it on youtube with monetization turned on. Could a Rob Ford smoking crack video generate 100M views? Quite possibly.

EDIT: Wow, I left the word “could” out there, and it sure sounded like I was claiming you could go watch it on youtube right now.


Well, if you were running against Ford, maybe you could consider 6 figures as a campaign expense.

It has become depressingly obviously that proving that Rob Ford does a lot of drugs isn’t going to prevent him from being elected. But maybe corroborated video evidence could alter the timeframe in which he gets arrested?


The video doesn’t seem to actually change anything or have any real significance, though. The police won’t act on it, and it can’t be politically (or legally) any more damaging than everything he’s already done that we already know about.

Now that makes sense - it’s essentially a car-crash video. It’s pretty much only out of morbid curiosity that anyone will want to see it, and plenty of people will want to watch it in that context, especially now that Ford is internationally famous.